SAP to invest $450 million over four years in MENA
Business apps giant plans to create 500 new jobs and triple consultancy capability in MENA
Business applications powerhouse SAP has announced an ambitious four-year investment plan worth AED1.65 billion ($450million) to up-skill local talent and drive sustainable innovation and growth in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) IT sector.
The move is one of the few bold initiatives that SAP MENA has made since SAP AG bought out SAP Arabia's exclusive distribution rights for MENA in 2007 to create its own direct presence in the region.
According to the software major, the decision highlights the region as a fast growth market and an integral part of the company's overall business strategy going forward.
As part of the up-skill initiative, SAP MENA will also set-up a dedicated ‘Training and Development Institute' that aims to certify 2,000 new consultants within the next four years. In addition, SAP will recruit 500 additional employees, open several new offices, create centres of excellence, expand its partner ecosystem and the SAP University Alliances Program.
SAP says this will triple the company's existing consulting capabilities in both the channel base and end-user environment across the MENA geography. The company adds that the initiative will further support the localisation of its solutions to meet the growing regional IT industry needs.
Werner Brandt, chief financial officer and SAP Executive Board member said: "The MENA market is remarkable in its growth potential, scope and readiness to innovate and we strongly believe that now is the right time to take our operations and engagement to the next level. The additional investment will enable us to deliver innovation, better localisation and more talent to our customers and channel partners, as well as help develop crucial skills-sets and employment opportunities in MENA."
SAP's plan to bolster its business across MENA comes after the vendor reported the ‘best-ever' financial year in 2011, which saw its global software revenues increasing 25% to €4 billion and IFRS total revenue increasing 14% to €14.2 billion.
Sam Alkharrat, managing director, SAP MENA, said: "Since the formation of SAP MENA in late 2007, we have focused on expanding our regional presence by building value-based customer relationships with our expertise, fostering talent and enabling our ecosystem. Customers are looking for better choice, industry leadership and best practice and innovation."
Alkharrat said now is the right time to expand by accelerating the company's present into untapped markets, further localising solutions and focusing on value-delivery. "We will also continue to provide breakthrough innovations like in-memory computing, secure mobile apps and cloud-based solutions to all our customers," he said.